January 5, 2018

2 students to be honored for community service

Second-year UW dental students Jessica Latimer and Marcus Hwang will receive 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards for their work in helping facilitate dental care for homeless people. The award will be presented on Jan. 18 during the UW Magnuson Health Sciences Center’s annual observance of the late civil rights leader’s birthday.

Marcus Hwang and Jessica Latimer

Marcus Hwang and Jessica Latimer at Tent City 3 in 2017

As first-year students in 2016, Latimer and Hwang were two of the five students who founded Husky Health Bridge, an organization that works with the School of Dentistry, AmeriCorps, Medical Teams International, and Greater Seattle Cares to offer free dental services to homeless people. The group’s first major outreach took place at the Tent City 3 encampment on the UW campus in February and March 2017, with first-year and third-year students performing cleanings, extractions, and restorative procedures under UW dental faculty supervision. Husky Health Bridge continues to serve homeless people through monthly outreach clinics.

Latimer and Hwang are also active in the Timothy A. DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health, which promotes international collaborations in dental research and education and has aligned itself with the UW’s ground-breaking Population Health initiative.

The annual service awards, given to individuals and groups from each of the UW Health Sciences schools, honor recipients who exemplify Dr. King’s principles through:

  • Commitment to addressing community needs, particularly communities of color and low income
  • Development and implementation of significant programs to improve the human condition
  • Outstanding efforts to protect and empower all individuals